Unfortunately, the modern world is full of crooks and scam artists. While these people may not be the majority, there are plenty enough of them to cause trouble for the rest of us. If you are like most people, you have probably gotten accustomed to regular scam attempts. However, not all of them are so easy to spot. For one reason or another, email scams continue to be successful. Yes, many people are aware of these threats, but these criminals only require one unwary victim to compromise an entire system. And so, let’s look at five types of email scams that (unfortunately) continue to be a problem.
This is by far the most common email scam, and it is a deceptively simple one. These will usually work by means of an email or text message. The email or text is embedded with a link, and the content will direct the users to click on that link. This is why people tell you to be careful about clicking strange links.
If you do click one of these links, it will normally take you to a spoofed (fake) page. It will be made to look like something legitimate, but it’s hard for them to reproduce every detail correctly. They will try to trick you into entering confidential information on this fake page, which allows the hacker to capture that information via a keylogger. This is a common way to steal credentials and personal identifying information, so always be careful about where you enter those sensitive passwords.
There are several alternative types of phishing scams, and it pays to be familiar with them. First of all, let’s talk about baiting. This is an email scam that is quite similar to phishing, but with one big difference: There will be bait. The scam artist will offer you some kind of incentive to go along with their instructions. They might claim that you have won some sort of contest, or that you qualify for some kind of benefit. Either way, this is just phishing with a twist.
Spear-phishing is another common variation. With a spear-phishing attack, the hacker will take some time to do a little bit of investigation. They will attempt to find out as much information about their target as possible, and this information is used to customize the attack. For instance, they might look at your friend list on social media so that they can attempt to impersonate one of those friends. When phishing is used to target high-level people, it is sometimes called “whaling.”
Some hacking attempts are much more dangerous than others. While many will attempt to steal credentials and/or money, some of them are focused on identity theft. Obviously, the gathering of false credentials is a very handy thing for a scammer. They usually aren’t too particular about why they target, as any false identity can be useful to them.
One of the most common ways that people steal your identity is by making accounts in your name. This might be anything from a Facebook account to an email account or anything in between. Of course, there is one major hurdle in their way, and that is the need for phone verification. That is why some hackers will attempt to trick you into giving them those crucial verification codes.
One common way to do this is to seek out those who are selling goods online. The scammer will ask for a phone number, which is pretty normal. They will then ask if they can send you a text message to verify that you are a real person. When you agree, they will send a text and ask you to read them the verification number. Of course, all you have to do is read that text, and you can quickly see what’s going on, but you’d be surprised at how often people fail to check those little details.
The Fake Cop Trick
many scam artists will attempt to create a sense of urgency when pitching their scams. They do this so that they can appeal to your emotions and induce you to follow instructions without checking anything. There are many ways to try and create a sense of urgency, but one of the most frequent tactics is to impersonate law enforcement.
When someone calls you or texts you, and they are claiming to be a police officer or any other law enforcement officer, you should be aware that these scams exist. Always ask for a badge number, and make sure it consists of 5-6 numbers. Also, if they ask you to do anything that doesn’t make sense, be cautious about complying. In most cases, law enforcement will not call you and say “hey, you need to do X or else you’ll go to jail!” The system just doesn’t usually work like that.
“There Was A Problem With Your Order”
Sometimes, scammers will target online buyers rather than online sellers. They will wait until that person makes a purchase, and then they will send a phishing email. It will say something like “there was a problem with your order and we require additional information for processing.” You can always verify something like this by contacting the company or website in question. In any case, just make sure you don’t foolishly click that link or enter any personal information.
make sure to report any of these scams if you should happen to encounter them. Even if it won’t stop the scammer entirely, it will help the authorities to track offenders and build profiles. Even if it doesn’t help you, it might help someone else avoid being victimized. If you are concerned about your cybersecurity, you might be asking: “Where can I find a good local IT company near me?” After all, a little bit of expert help is always nice to have. If you are in need of such help, we recommend calling PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500.